Acts, Second Edition
696 Pages

Acts, Second Edition



This second edition of Stevens's presentation of Acts adds an extensive study of church traditions on Paul's death and burial. Uncovering of the sarcophagus in the Church of Saint Paul Outside the Walls yielded carbon 14 dated first- or second-century bones. In his characteristically creative way, Stevens offers an insightful proposal on why church traditions on Paul post Acts are so ambiguous and probably always will be, even with this new find. Stevens's close study of the Acts narrative analyzes Luke's post-ascension story of Jesus and challenges orthodoxies in the interpretation of Acts and Paul. Luke was the first to envision the future of the Jesus story in the Hellenist movement as this movement realizes the promise of Pentecost in Israel, preeminently epitomized in the mission of Paul, who is Luke's premier example of the God active, God resisted theme of the speech of Stephen that drives the plot of Acts and illuminates exegesis of Paul's insistence on going to Jerusalem with its dramatic conclusion in the shipwreck of Paul. Luke ends Acts in Rome as intended--an impressive, compelling, and thoroughly fresh reading of Acts.



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Published 05 August 2019
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EAN13 9781532693564
Language English
Document size 352 MB

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A New Vision of the People of God Second Edition
Gerald L. Stevens
ACTS A New Vision of the People of God, Second Edition
Copyright ©2019Gerald L. Stevens. All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations in critical publications or reviews, no part of this book may be reproduced in any manner without prior written permission from the publisher. Write: Permissions, Wipf and Stock Publishers,199W.8th Ave., Suite3, Eugene, OR97401.
Pickwick Publications An Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers 199W.8th Ave., Suite3 Eugene, OR97401
paperbackisbn:978-1-5326-9324-3 hardcoverisbn:978-1-5326-9355-7 ebookisbn:978-1-5326-9356-4
Cataloguing-in-Publication data:
Names: Stevens, Gerald L.
Acts : a new visions of the people of God / Gerald L. Stevens.
Description: Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications,2016| Includes bibliographi-cal references.
IdentiIers:isbn978-1-5326-9324-3(paperback) |isbn978-1-5326-9355-7(hardcover) |isbn978-1-5326-9356-4(ebook)
Subjects: LCSH: Bible | N.T. Acts | Commentaries
Classification: BS2625.53S752019(print) | BS2625.53(ebook)
Manufactured in the U.S.A.
Dedicated to my students past, present, and future
Credits and Permissions
As I have indicated in other publications, in the pursuit of learning, we never walk alone, and we always stand on others’ shoulders. Obvious in these pages will be that I am indebted to the extensive commentary tradition on Acts, as well as special studies. I tried to notate instances of specific debt. Yet, at the same time, I have so reconfigured everything into my own distinctive perspectives that no one is to blame for those ideas but me. In that regard, with the narrative of Acts, I feel a kinship with Paul, who always insisted he got his gospel from no one (Gal 1:12). Especially assisting the production of this volume have been my wife, Jean M. Stevens, and my legal counsel, Joseph W. Looney.
All photographs, unless indicated otherwise, are by Gerald L. Stevens, Copyright © 2016 Gerald L. Stevens, 3777 Mimosa Ct., New Orleans, Louisiana. All rights reserved.
Photographs by Jean M. Stevens, Copyright © 2016 Jean M. Stevens, 3777 Mimosa Court, New Orleans, Louisiana. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Cartography images are generated and processed from Accordance, ver. 11.0.6, OakTree Software, Inc., 498 Palm Springs Drive, Suite 100, Altamonte, Fla. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Image of Codex Sinaiticus at Luke 1:1–4 by permission of Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Image of Laudian Acts MS 08 at Acts 8:37 by permission of the Bodleian Library, Oxford, England. All rights reserved.
Image of Roman merchant ship model, Science and Society Picture Library, Image #10422383, SCMG Enterprises Ltd., Science Museum Group, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2DD. Used by permission. © Science and Society Picture Library.
Credits and Permissions
Scripture quotations unless marked otherwise are the author’s own translation.
Scripture quotations marked (NRSV) are taken from theNew Revised Standard Version(NRSV) Copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA.
Scripture quotations marked (NASB) are from theNew American Standard BibleCopyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.
Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are from theNew International VersionCopyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society.
Smith Illustration, “Situation of the Ship on the Fifteenth Morning,” painted by H. Smartly, from the preliminaries of James Smith,The Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul, is in the common domain.
Wikipedia Common images of the stoning of Saint Stephen relief (“Jebulon”) and the Jerusalem temple inscription (“oncenawhile”) available through Wikipedia Commons under the Creative Commons license.
List of Figures• xi Preface to the Second Edition• xxiii Preface to the First Edition• xxv Abbreviations• xxvii
 Preliminaries • 1
 PART 1  Thematic Analysis  Thematic Foundation of Characters and Plot 1  Pentecost as Thematic • 37 2  Hellenists and Antioch • 73 3  The Character Saul-Paul • 113
 PART 2  Narrative Analysis 1  The Spirit Empowers Messianic Israel (Acts 1–12) 4Renewal Beginnings  • 147 5  Renewal Empowerment • 165  Renewal Witness • 185 6
 Hellenist Leaders Emerge • 211 7  Hellenist Mission Advances • 231 8  Hellenist Center Shifts • 269 9
 PART 3  Narrative Analysis 2  The Spirit Empowers World Mission (Acts 13–28)  First Missionary Journey • 289 10 Second Missionary Journey • 337 11 Third Missionary Journey • 399 12  Destiny Denied • 451 13  Destiny Delayed • 469 14  Destiny Achieved • 499 15  Epilogue: Intimations of Mortality • 577
 Appendix: Video Resources • 607
Bibliography• 609 Scripture Index• 623 Ancient Documents Index• 635 Modern Authors Index• 639 Subject Index• 641